gardening thread

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Postby goldaline » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:00 pm

so my mind is basically all garden, all the time right now. who wants to talk about garden stuff?

my ridiculously over-ambitious plans for my first in-ground garden (i've been container gardening for several years) include:

a three sisters garden (corn, beans, and squash growing symbiotically)
zucchini. so many zucchini
butternut and spaghetti squash
hella herbs
heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
2 different kinds of sweet peppers
asparagus
onions
garlic (maybe?)
a bed of greens including kale, arugula and spinach
strawberries
blueberries (this shit is a pain in the ass, it needs really acidic soil and basically has to be in a bed by itself. but blueberries)
ferns. i really want to line the fence with ferns in the shadiest part of the yard but growing them from spores is a whole thing and takes forever. you can buy individual ferns but that gets pricey when you want to have a bunch of them. my mother has a sweet fern garden from ferns that she's just dug out of the ground in random woodlands. she's offered to dig some up for me and mail them, so... cool, i guess?
sunflowers probably
other flowers that are not ugly and don't suck

i live in zone 6b so it's pretty early to actually start doing anything outside - the ground isn't even fully thawed here yet. i'll be starting a lot of seeds indoors probably this weekend. the tomatoes and peppers have been ordered as seedlings, a 3-year-old blueberry bush will be coming in a few weeks, and so will the asparagus crowns. i'll also be ordering 2 year old strawberries when the time comes, so hopefully the berries will produce this year.

i am really anxious to start preparing my beds since the yard is just shitty grass right now and there's a ton of work to do, but between the half-thawed ground & constant rain it's just not time yet. i'll want to sow the greens pretty soon, and the blueberry bush needs to be planted while still dormant. i also have lots of free compost coming from friends which is cool. we're gonna start composting this summer but until a few months ago i lived in a 3rd floor apartment with no yard so i don't have any compost of my own yet.

i also want to install a rain barrel but our gutters drain to the sewer and it's a rental property so i'm figuring out how to do that without pissing off the landlord. i'd prefer not to have insane water bills this summer and there's free water just coming from the sky all the time, so being a thrifty gal i am very motivated to make this work.

i plan to carry on the family tradition of putting weird shit in the garden as decoration. i currently have a powder blue porcelain sink that i'm going to grow flowers out of. also lots of interestingly shaped glass bottles, skeletons of wooden chairs to use as trellises, etc.

so excited and naively optimistic right now. my outlook will probably be different in july when half my plants have died, birds have eaten all my berries, the squash and mint have taken over the garden, and the monthly arrival of the water bill is a source of fear and dread
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Postby good pups » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:04 pm

hell yes

i don't do much gardening gardening because of lack-o-yard but i love growing mesembs from seed

i got some pretty damned exciting lithops germinating these days
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Postby Debbie » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:07 pm

I've kind of lost interest in this save a few reliable, high-yield vegetables like lettuces, peppers, okra, peas/beans and potatoes.

Anytime I stray I realize I basically could have just purchased the vegetables at a fraction of the cost. Part of the appeal for me is having nice, fresh vegetables always available and for dumb shit like brussels sprouts or broccoli it's just a total waste.
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Postby Debbie » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:07 pm

I have like 10 heads of romaine that are basically 8' tall flowers now.
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Postby Debbie » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:08 pm

Peppers rule in florida because you just get them all year. There's never a time when you lack peppers! Bell peppers, jalapenos, bhut jolokia, habaneros, sweet peppers, shrimp gumbo, shrimp ala mode ...
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Postby good pups » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:10 pm

fuck, i would love to have tons of okra always
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Postby sadville » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:11 pm

just bought some seeds for broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, beets, and brussels sprouts

gonna try to do some okra from seeds too

gonna do tons of tomatoes and cucumbers. not sure what else at this point.
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Postby Ted Pikul » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:11 pm

Zone 5B checking in

We planted a garden last year and got a little overambitious, but it worked out pretty well. We had herbs, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, chili peppers, turnips (these were amazing, like candy), and horseradish. Some thing didn't work out, namely lettuce, fennel and pumpkin.

This year we want to scale things back a bit (concentrate on things that are very useful like herbs and stuff that's hard to find like tomatillos) and concentrate on the landscaping. I've been reading up on sustainable landscaping, and I'm going to try and sheet mulch the weeds in my lawn since I tried herbicides last year and they had absolutely no effect. And planting shrubs and putting in edging stones and pebbles around the foundation.

I've been looking at rain barrels and I might also try and install a drip irrigation system for the garden, if I can find all the components at the right price
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Postby Sobieski » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:11 pm

have you thought of growing a mescaline cactus?
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Postby sadville » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:12 pm

i'm in zone 6a
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Postby goldaline » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:15 pm

Scrumptious Justice wrote:I've kind of lost interest in this save a few reliable, high-yield vegetables like lettuces, peppers, okra, peas/beans and potatoes.

Anytime I stray I realize I basically could have just purchased the vegetables at a fraction of the cost. Part of the appeal for me is having nice, fresh vegetables always available and for dumb shit like brussels sprouts or broccoli it's just a total waste.


yeah i had the brief intention of growing brussels sprouts and broccoli but they're not really appropriate for my climate and anyway do i even eat those THAT often?

theoretically though, once you've got all your equipment and have your garden set up, year-to-year it shouldn't cost that much, especially if you start from seed, make your own compost, and collect rainwater. i like the idea of sustainable eating and knowing exactly where my produce comes from because i raised it from seed. plus things that grow are just cool. but yeah i am spending $$$ this year because i have had to buy actual spades and hoes and shit and need to make at least one raised bed and probably buy some compost.

all the seeds and seedlings were like $40 though and i will easily get way more than $40 worth of produce from those plants. the blueberry bush was like $10. i think it's pretty cool that you can buy a dormant blueberry bush and just pop it in the ground and have blueberries without having to wait 2-3 years.
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Postby Damien Amadeus MetalWind » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:17 pm

trying to do this this year, i have a tiny shit yard so it's all containers.
snap peas, beets, lettuce, spinach and cilantro are all going now
started tomatoes, basil, carrots, corn, cantaloupes, bell peppers, parsnips and strawberries last weekend (trying the pvc pipe thing with the strawbs). Need to get some red and green chiles too.
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Postby goldaline » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:17 pm

also if all this fails i will just make the whole yard into a fucking plantation of kale. kale lyfe. eat kale everyday
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Postby sadville » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:19 pm

alternate rows of kale and chard so u can eat the rainbow!!!
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Postby good pups » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:21 pm

i want to do some citrus soon but man there are tons of fruits on those bad boys. i mean of course their taste is very delicious but i won't possibly not come to scorn them.
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Postby goldaline » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:27 pm

Stuntman wrote:I was allowed to have a garden at my last apartment and I grew zucchini, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers. Really low maintenance and I had a pretty good yield my first summer/autumn and shared with my neighbors and brought a ton of stuff to work.

I tried it again the next year and started noticing that a lot of the fruit was missing when I went out in the morning to water. At first I suspected pests but eventually I found my neighbor out there with a basket collecting unripe tomatoes. I was really annoyed but she said that they were community gardens and we all had to share. So I stopped watering and everything died.


oh man i think i would end up starting a hatfield and mccoy style neighbor feud if that happened to me. how is a garden planned and maintained by one person for their own use a "community garden"?
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Postby Frank » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:28 pm

A friend hired me to landscape/basically build her a garden. I'm building three raised beds (4x6, cedar) and installing a rain water barrel as well as various other things. Might also be building her a deck with another friend.
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Postby i won a contest » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:35 pm

planting fruit trees this year. super pumped to have pawpaws in a couple years. i've never even seen a quince but i'm planting one of those too. front and back yard is going to be basically all garden this year and we're getting bees for the first time. plus some friends and i are trying to start a farm/tent city/cult on 30 acres a little outside of town. probably a little over ambitious but it should be fun.
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Postby sadville » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:41 pm

i dedicated a whole lotta space to zucchini last year and none of it came out. we had lots of flowers (and lots of bees, so not sure why we didn't get any fruit???) which my wife did something to to make edible

let me tell you, those things were awesome
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Postby goldaline » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:45 pm

i won a contest wrote:planting fruit trees this year. super pumped to have pawpaws in a couple years. i've never even seen a quince but i'm planting one of those too. front and back yard is going to be basically all garden this year and we're getting bees for the first time. plus some friends and i are trying to start a farm/tent city/cult on 30 acres a little outside of town. probably a little over ambitious but it should be fun.


this sounds amazing. can i join your cult?

also i am a huge proponent of pawpaws. i forage for them in the city every year. i've introduced most of my friends to the concept of pawpaws (how does no one know about this native fruit?) but fruit trees are too longterm for me right now, since we just live in a rental house and probably won't be there long enough to really reap the benefit of trees. but i will totally plant some pawpaws when the opportunity arises.

do you have a couple different varieties of pawpaws? i think they won't fertilize unless you have genetically different trees to cross-pollinate. but maybe a lot of fruits are like that-- i don't really know much about fruit trees.

sadville wrote:i dedicated a whole lotta space to zucchini last year and none of it came out. we had lots of flowers (and lots of bees, so not sure why we didn't get any fruit???) which my wife did something to to make edible

let me tell you, those things were awesome


zucchini blossoms are the shit. you can definitely get some tasty stuff from the plants even if they don't produce any squash.

i have had some trouble with zucchini in the past, which is frustrating because it's supposed to be so easy. i've only ever been able to grow it in containers though which has its own set of problems. you can try to hand pollinate with a paintbrush, but that only works if you're actually getting female flowers. you'll only get male flowers for a few weeks in the beginning of the season and they're supposed to start producing females after that but sometimes they just don't. could be disease or a nutrient deficiency.
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Postby good pups » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:46 pm

what the heck is a pawpaw!!
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Postby goldaline » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:56 pm

good pups wrote:what the heck is a pawpaw!!


let me tell you a lil story about the pawpaw, america's forgotten fruit.

it's the only native fruit in some parts of the US, but nobody knows about it! it looks kinda like a mango and tastes kinda like a cross between a mango and banana. it spoils easily and doesn't travel well so it's not something that can be mass-produced or stored for sale at supermarkets. the trees grow wild all over the mid-atlantic and southern states. they often grow in groves and the fruit ripens in late september - early october (in my region anyway.) you can make them into smoothies or ice cream or bake them into a pie or just eat them plain! they are also known as custard apples.

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Last year's foraged pittsburgh pawpaws!
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Postby chowder julius » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:01 pm

i planted peas today!

so far i have planned:

one 4x4 raised bed (building myself and mixing my own soil) with 2 yellow cherry tomato, 2 black cherry tomato, 2 dwarf eggplant, 2 shishito pepper, 2 chinese 5 color pepper, bush beans, 2 cucumbers, and a bunch of radishes

one 2x4 raised bed with random herbs

an eightball zucchini in a pot, peas obv, strawberries, and a bunch of flowers (including sunflowers!)

this is way too much for one person but i can't help myself. i mean you just gotta stick it in the ground and water it so why not go hard

starting seeds as soon as everything i bought on ebay gets here, prob by the weekend yaaaay
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Postby i won a contest » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:02 pm

oh where'd you find those? last year i found a couple groves in schenley park but they were already completely picked clean by the time i got there. cool that people are into them, but i was bummed to miss out
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Postby i won a contest » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:04 pm

do you guys compost? we've got a small box thing but the raccoons have been getting into it. thinking of building a bigger tumbler style bin.
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Postby chowder julius » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:04 pm

i'm gonna do cauliflower in the fall when my peas and radishes are done probably. never done it before. it's cute that you have to tie the leaves over the fruit, lil bashful cauliflower
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Postby chowder julius » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:08 pm

the thing about broccoli/cauliflower/brussels sprouts etc that i can't really get over is that you just get one thing from it so it's just a waste of space if you have a small garden. i'd rather dedicate the space to something that will bear fruit for awhile rather than a big thing that i only get to harvest once anyway. i'm just doing fall cauliflower because i'll have the space, not because i'm like super stoked about it. next spring i'll probably do an early crop since i'll have the beds ready and will only need to add a little compost to the soil. otherwise fuck it
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Postby sadville » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:13 pm

re: composting, i have a bin that i don't do much with but should be full of good compost for this season. i also do a big pile in the yard that we turn weekly. gonna move it here pretty soon and set up another raised bed on top of that rich, rich soil
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Postby sadville » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:17 pm

i had a vermicomposting thing going but my worms all died :(

gonna get that thing going again too
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Postby chowder julius » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:24 pm

i should put worms in my raised beds yeah?

squirrel fucker that eats all my bird seed gonna love my strawberries :(
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